Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
Navigate Up
Sign In

Office of the University Registrar

  • Microbiology and Cell Science

    The Bachelor of Science in microbiology and cell science offers students flexibility in a curriculum that develops an excellent knowledge base and an understanding of concepts in microbiology, cell biology and the bio-molecular sciences. Emphasis will be placed on application of the scientific method to gain an understanding of the biological world at the cellular and molecular levels. Students will learn to evaluate hypotheses, to interpret experimental data and to communicate results effectively.

    About This Major

    • Colleges: Liberal Arts and Sciences
    • Degree: Bachelor of Science
    • Hours for the Degree: 120
    • Minor: No
    • Combined-Degree Program: Yes
    • Website:


    This major prepares students for entry into professional programs in medicine, dentistry and veterinary medicine and provides a strong foundation for graduate studies in microbiology, cell biology and related cellular and biomedical sciences. The major also provides a background for entry into government, industrial research and diagnostic laboratories.

    The curriculum develops fundamental knowledge of prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells and viruses. Courses include the physiology and genetics of microorganisms, mechanisms of pathogenesis and innate immunity systems, astrobiology, bacterial and genome sequencing and bioinformatics. Additional information is available at the major’s website

    Coursework for the Major

    All majors must complete 28-29 credits: 15 credits of core requirements, at least 10 credits of upper-division department electives and 3-4 credits for the quantitative requirement. A minimum of one credit in an advanced laboratory is required as part of the 10 department-elective credits.

    Minimum grades of C within two attempts, including withdrawals, are required in all critical-tracking courses, major courses, department core requirements, department electives and the quantitative requirement. A cumulative 2.0 GPA is also required.

    Required Related Coursework

    • Integrated Principles of Biology 1 and 2 and laboratories (BSC 2010/2010L and
      BSC 2011/2011L). AGR 3033 may be substituted for BSC 2011/2011L
    • General Chemistry 1 and laboratory (CHM 2045/2045L)
    • General Chemistry 2 Qualitative Analysis and laboratory (CHM 2046/2046L)
    • Analytical Geometry and Calculus 1 (MAC 2311)
    • Physics 1 and 2 and laboratories (PHY 2053/2053L and PHY 2054/2054L, or
      PHY 2048/2048L and PHY 2049/2049L)
    • Organic Chemistry and laboratory (CHM 2210, 2211 and 2211L)
    • All majors must complete the biology sequence, general chemistry sequence and calculus by the end of the sophomore year. Organic Chemistry, CHM 2210, must be completed by the end of tracking term five. To continue in the major, students must attain a cumulative GPA in these graded courses of no less than 2.5 and with no grade lower than a C.

    Core Requirements

    • BCH 4024 or CHM 3218 Biochemistry or Organic Chemistry/Biochemistry 2
    • MCB 3023 and 3023L Principles of Microbiology and Microbiology Laboratory
    • MCB 4203 Pathogens or PCB 4233 Immunology
    • MCB 4304 Genetics of Microorganisms or PCB 4522 Molecular Genetics

    Students must take MCB 4203 Pathogens or PCB 4233 Immunology as a core course. If they take both, one will count as a core course and the other will roll over into the 10-credit department elective requirement.

    Department Elective Requirement

    A total of 10 credits of approved department electives including one credit in an advanced lab is required. The list of approved electives is available from the department. A maximum of 4 credits of approved department electives may be taken in other departments with a course prefix of FOS, HOS, CHM, ZOO (excluding ZOO 4232) and SWS. The remaining six credits must be chosen from the department list with prefixes of MCB, PCB, ZOO 4232, BSC 4434 or BSC 2891.

    MCB 4905 does not replace the advanced laboratory requirement. It may be taken for a total of 10 credits and a maximum per semester of two credits. This policy also applies to microbiology and cell science majors registered for undergraduate research in other departments' undergraduate research courses, such as BCH 4905, BMS 4905, ZOO 4905 etc.

    MCB 4934 Special Topics is often used for TA lab positions. TA positions may be repeated for a total of two semesters with one lab assignment per semester.

    Enrollment in MCB 4905 Undergraduate Research and MCB 4934 Special Topics - Teaching Assistantship will not fulfill any credits toward the microbiology department elective requirements; they will count only as general elective credit toward the 120 credits for the B.S. degree.

    Quantitative Requirement

    A total of 3-4 credits of approved courses meets this requirement. Courses include CHM 3120/3120L, or STA 2023, or COP 3275, or PCB 3063, or MCB 4320C, or BSC 4434, or BSC 2891. Several of these courses are also department electives and cannot be used to fulfill both the quantitative requirement and the department elective requirement. No overlap is allowed.

    Back to Top

    Combined Degree Program

    A Bachelor of Science and Master of Science (non-thesis) program is offered by the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences. Microbiology majors in both the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences are eligible for admission to the Combined Degree Program.

    Preparation for Graduate Study

    This major prepares students for entry into graduate studies in microbiology, cell biology, biochemistry and other areas. Students should set up an appointment with Dr. James Preston ( to determine their eligibility for this program.

    All students interested in graduate education should develop a strong background in chemistry as soon as possible. Suggested schedules for students who plan to attend graduate school are available on the website. Students planning graduate study in microbiology, biochemistry or molecular biological sciences should consider taking the following courses:

    • CHM 3218 Organic Chemistry/Biochemistry 2 (4 credits) for the biochemistry requirement
    • MAC 2312 Calculus 2 (4 credits)
    • STA 2023 Introduction to Statistics (3 credits)
    • MCB 4403 Prokaryotic Cell Structure (3 credits),
      PCB 3134 Eukaryotic Cell Structure and Function (3 credits) and
      CHM 3400 Physical Chemistry (3 credits) fulfill nine credits of required department electives
    • MCB 5305L Microbial Genetics Laboratory (2 credits) or
      MCB 5136L Techniques of Advanced Microbiology Laboratory (3 credits) fulfills the microbiology advanced laboratory requirement
    • PCB 4233 Immunology (3 credits) to fulfills the pathogens or immunology requirement.
    • In addition, MCB 4905 will provide valuable laboratory research experience.

    Relevant Minors and/or Certificates

    The Microbiology and Cell Science Department also offers an undergraduate minor in bioinformatics to students majoring in any biology-related subject, including and not limited to microbiology, biology or biochemistry.

    So integrated is bioinformatics with biology that it is difficult to find an active research program that does not rely on bioinformatic analysis to achieve results. Unfortunately, the integration of bioinformatic and traditional methods is not stressed in many undergraduate programs, leaving the next generation of biologists without the skills they need to succeed in tomorrow’s research environment. The undergraduate minor in bioinformatics provides this critical training to future professionals in the biological disciplines.


    A majority of majors are actively involved in undergraduate research for credit with mentors throughout the university. Preprofessional and graduate school-bound majors are encouraged to do a minimum of two semesters of undergraduate research. The department has a comprehensive list of mentors across campus who allow undergraduate students to do valuable research under their guidance. Please refer to the department website for more information on undergraduate research, finding a mentor and a contact list of UF faculty who have worked with microbiology and cell science majors.

    Critical Tracking

    Equivalent critical-tracking courses as determined by the State of Florida Common Course Prerequisites may be used for transfer students

    Semester 1

    • 2.0 UF GPA required for semesters 1-5
    • 2.5 critical-tracking GPA for semesters 1-5
    • Complete CHM 1025 or CHM 2045/2045L

    Semester 2

    • Complete CHM 2045/2045L and MAC 2311

    Semester 3

    • Complete CHM 2046/2046L and BSC 2010/2010L

    Semester 4

    • Complete BSC 2011/2011L

    Semester 5

    • Complete CHM 2210
    Back to Top

    To graduate with this major, students must complete all university, college and major requirements. For degree requirements outside of the major, refer to CLAS Degree Requirements — Structure of a CLAS Degree.

    Recommended Semester Plan

    Students are expected to complete the writing and math requirement while in the process of taking the courses below. Students are required to complete HUM 2305 The Good Life (GE-H) in semester 1 or 2. Students are also expected to complete the general education international (GE-N) and diversity (GE-D) requirements concurrently with another general education requirement (typically, GE-C, H or S).

    To remain on track, students must complete the appropriate critical-tracking courses, which appear in bold.

    Semester 1 Credits
    CHM 2045 and 2045L General Chemistry 1 (3) and General Chemistry 1 Laboratory (1)
    HUM 2305 What is the Good Life (GE-H)​ 3​
    MAC 1147 Precalculus: Algebra and Trigonometry (GE-M)
    (if needed for MAC 2311 in the spring)
    Composition (GE-C) 3
    Total 14
    Semester 2 Credits
    CHM 2046 and 2046L General Chemistry 2 (3) and General Chemistry 2 Laboratory (1)
    MAC 2311 Analytic Geometry and Calculus 1 (GE-M) 4
    Composition (GE-C) 3
    Social and Behavioral Sciences (GE-S) 3
    Total 14
    Semester 3 Credits
    BSC 2010 and 2010L Integrated Principles of Biology 1 (3) and Integrated Principles of Biology 1 Laboratory (1) (GE-B) 4
    CHM 2210 Organic Chemistry 1 3
    Foreign language 5
    Social and Behavioral Sciences (GE-S) 3
    Total 15
    Semester 4 Credits
    BSC 2011 and 2011L Integrated Principles of Biology 2 (3) and Integrated Principles of Biology 2 Laboratory (1) (GE-B) 4
    CHM 2211 and 2211L Organic Chemistry 2 (3) and Organic Chemistry 2 Laboratory (2) 5
    Foreign language 5
    Humanities (GE-H) 3
    Total 17
    Semester 5 Credits
    BCH 4024 Biochemistry or
    CHM 3218 Organic Chemistry/Biochemistry 2
    PHY 2053 and 2053L Physics 1 (4) and Physics 1 Laboratory (1) or
    PHY 2048 and 2048L Physics 1 with Calculus (3) and Physics 1 with Calculus Laboratory (1)
    Social and Behavioral Sciences (GE-S) 3
    Elective​ 3​
    Total 14-15
    Semester 6 Credits
    MCB 3023 and 3023L Principles of Microbiology (3) and Principles of Microbiology Laboratory (2) 5
    PHY 2054 and 2054L Physics 2 (4) and Physics 2 Laboratory (1) or
    PHY 2049 and 2049L Physics 2 with Calculus (3) and Physics 2 with Calculus Laboratory (1)
    Elective 3
    Humanities (GE-H) 3
    Total 15-16
    Semester 7 Credits
    MCB 4203 Bacterial and Viral Pathogens 3
    MCB 4320C Bacterial Genome Sequencing and Analysis (3) or
    CGS 3460 Computer Programming with C (3) or
    CHM 3120 and 3120L Analytical Chemistry (3) and Analytical Chemistry Laboratory (1) or
    BSC 2891 Python Programming for Biology (3) or
    BSC 4434 Bioinformatics (3) or
    PCB 3063 Genetics (3) or
    STA 2023 Introduction to Statistics 1 (3)
    Department elective 3
    Electives (3000 level or higher, not in major) 4
    Elective 3
    Total 16-17
    Semester 8 Credits
    MCB 4034L Advanced Microbiology Laboratory 1
    PCB 4522 Molecular Genetics 3
    Department electives 6
    Elective 5
    Total 15
    Back to Top
majors: microbiology-and-cell-science